Daily news summary News

24-05-2005

PM says he's ready to compromise on referendum

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek says he wants to meet with the opposition Civic Democrats in order to agree on the terms of a referendum on the EU constitution. The Prime Minister said he was prepared to back the Civic Democratic Party's bill on a one-off referendum on the EU constitution on condition that the referendum was held simultaneously with the 2006 general elections. Mr. Paroubek said the Social Democrats were willing to abandon their drive for a general referendum law in order to open the way for a plebiscite on the EU constitution but he said he could not compromise on the term of the referendum, since the country could not afford to waste money on two votes within the space of a few months.

Controversy over proposed judge

Controversy has arisen over a judge President Vaclav Klaus has asked the Senate to approve as a Constitutional Court judge. Pravo reported on Tuesday that Pilsen regional court judge Vlasta Formankova sent a pub landlord to prison in 1980 for insulting a group of Communist functionaries and expelling them from his pub. The publican received a 10-month jail term, later shortened to six months, and the sentence was annulled after the fall of the communist system. While the judge today insists she acted correctly, the landlord's widow says it would be immoral if she was appointed to the Constitutional Court.

Torrential rain causes extensive damage

Torrential rain and hailstones have damaged homes and property in many parts of the Czech Republic. Insurance companies say they have received hundreds of compensation claims from people living in the south and east of the country. The town of Kojcice south east of Prague was particularly badly hit, with some hailstones the size of hens' eggs. Although meteorologists had warned of approaching torrential rain the locals said they had no idea what was coming. There is damage to field crops, farm animals, roads, the sewage system and even the river embankment. The damage is estimated at several million crowns in Kojcice alone.

Several Czech tennis players through to second round of French Open

Czech tennis players Radek Stepanek, Jiri Novak, Tomas Berdych, Robin Vik and Eva Birnerova all progressed to the second round of the French Open in Paris on the opening day of the tournament. But the most famous Czech at Roland Garros was hockey player Jaromir Jagr, who turned out to support his friend Radek Stepanek, who is the Czech men's number one.

Weather:

Wednesday is expected to be a warm and sunny day across most of the Czech Republic, with only partly cloudy skies in places and day temperatures between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius.

24-05-2005